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Chaired by Henry Smith MP
SPEAKER: Professor Walter Russell Mead
James Clark Chase Professor of Foreign Affairs and Humanities at Bard College
Editor-at-Large of The American Interest
VENUE: Committee Room TBC, House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA
The Cold War led to a ‘holiday from history’ for the West. However, geopolitical rivalries have now well and truly returned to the international stage, with countries such as Russia, China and Iran all attempting to strengthen their hands. Western democracies are struggling to adapt to these new realities, continuing to focus on issues of global governance and world order. However, in reality, hard power is just as vital a component in international relations as ever.
The US, UK and its allies in Europe are seemingly lacking in a strategy on how to cope with an increasingly aggressive approach from authoritarian powers. They have been rocked by the financial crisis, decades worth of foreign policy blunders and possibly lack the self-confidence to face down the likes of Vladimir Putin. Maintaining a democratic, peaceful and stable world order in such an environment looks to be more challenging than ever.
By kind invitation of Henry Smith MP, The Henry Jackson Society is pleased to invite you to a discussion with Professor Walter Russell Mead, James Clark Chase Professor of Foreign Affairs and Humanities at Bard College and Editor-at-Large of The American Interest. Professor Mead, who has recently argued that ‘2014 is the year when the post-Cold War bubble finally burst’, will examine where the West is headed at these increasingly uncertain times in an increasingly multipolar world.
Walter Russell Mead is the James Clark Chase Professor of Foreign Affairs and Humanities at Bard College and Editor-at-Large of The American Interest. From 1997 to 2010, Professor Mead was a fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, serving as the Henry A. Kissinger Senior Fellow for U.S. Foreign Policy from 2003 until his departure. Until 2011, he was also a Brady-Johnson Distinguished Fellow in Grand Strategy at Yale, where he had taught in the Yale International Security Studies Program since 2008.
His book, Special Providence: American Foreign Policy and How It Changed the World (Alfred A. Knopf, 2004), was widely hailed by reviewers, historians, and diplomats as an important study that will change the way Americans and others think about American foreign policy. Among several honours and prizes, Special Providence received the Lionel Gelber Award for best book in English on international relations in 2002.
Professor Mead’s most recent book, God and Gold: Britain, America and the Making of the Modern World (Alfred A. Knopf, 2007), is a major study of 400 years of conflict between Anglophone powers and rivals ranging from absolute monarchies like Spain and France through Communist and Fascist enemies in the twentieth century to al-Qaeda today.
Professor Mead is also the author of the “Via Meadia” blog at The-American-Interest.com, where he writes regular essays on international affairs, religion, politics, culture, education, economics, technology, literature, and the media. Mead’s writings are frequently linked to and discussed by major news outlets and websites such as The New York Times, The Atlantic, the Financial Times, the Guardian, the Wall Street Journal, the Weekly Standard, Harper’s, the Washington Post, and RealClearPolitics, as well as by foreign periodicals. He serves as a regular reviewer of books for Foreign Affairs and frequently appears on national and international radio and television programs. In 1997, he was a finalist for the National Magazine Award in the category of essays and criticism.
Professor Mead is an honours graduate of Groton and Yale, where he received prizes for history, debate, and the translation of New Testament Greek. He has travelled widely in the Middle East, Asia, Europe, Africa, and Latin America, and often speaks at conferences in the United States and abroad. He is a founding board member of the New America Foundation. He is a native of South Carolina and lives in Jackson Heights, New York.